Episode 28: Going Out to Eat on a Diet

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This might seem like super basic information, but going out to eat at a restaurant can often be a challenge for those starting out on a diet or a new way of eating. Hopefully, these quick tips can help you to feel more confident, and enjoy going out to eat with coworkers, family, friends or even on a date!


  • I’m trying out music! Let me know your thoughts on Twitter, or in the comments 😀
  • Intro/background music: “I dunno” by grapes
  • AllMenus.com is a good source of restaurant menus for local places (Yelp and just plain old Google can also be helpful!)
  • MyFitnessPal.com has a good archive of restaurant nutritional information!

So, here’s the answer to a question I actually get a lot, which is “how can I go out to eat at a restaurant and still stick with my meal plan?”

Obviously, this question applies to whatever way of eating you follow, or type of food that you eat, but it’s nice to have a general set of guidelines. More or less, this just comes down to preparation.


  1. Check the menu online
      • Many restaurants have a menu posted on their website (allmenus.com)
      • Often, nutrition is also listed. This can make your life incredibly easy.
      • If nutrition isn’t posted, you can always approximate it based on the nutrition content you do know of similar dishes
      • MyFitnessPal has a lot of nutrition info listed
  • Pick out your meal ahead of time
      • Decide which main dish you want
      • Make any changes to sides (look at the sides as well!)
      • If you track your calories and macros, write this all down either in your app, or in something you can take with you


  • Pick out a backup (meal and sides)
      • Just in case!
  • For substitutions
      • Call ahead
      • Yes, it sounds obvious, but it’s better to call and have the actual restaurant staff tell you what they can and cannot do
  • Mentally Commit
      • You’ve already decided what to get, just commit to it
      • Leaving things up to the last minute leaves you open for making impulse decisions, and getting off track.
  • If it doesn’t go as planned… Don’t feel guilty
    • Guilt is not a helpful emotion – it will just make you feel worse about what you ate
    • Instead, focus on the positive aspects of the meal – was it fun? Was it tasty?
    • If you can’t find a positive, then it’s a good motivator to stay on track in the future!

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